Apple CEO Tim Cook says he is “deeply disappointed” with President Donald Trump’s June 22 decision to shut down some of the visa worker pipelines that prevent Americans from getting jobs at Silicon Valley tech companies.
“Deeply disappointed by this proclamation,” Cook said June 23. “Like Apple, this nation of immigrants has always found strength in our diversity, and hope in the enduring promise of the American Dream. There is no new prosperity without both.”
But America’s voters jeered and scoffed at Cook’s high-minded defense of the pipelines, which allow tech leaders to fill up their companies with blocs of compliant, controllable, and silent foreign workers instead of independent and free-speaking American professionals.
Not impressed with your Anti-American Worker rhetoric. Where is your compassion for the 48 million Americans who have lost their jobs? No American Dream for Americans.
— KBL Robinson (@Kimberl05543476) June 24, 2020
Protect American workers looking to fulfill their American Dream.. It’s simple. It’s important. It matters
— MGMorton Jr (@mgmjr219) June 23, 2020
The responses echo the poll-tested public support for Trump’s hire American-first agenda, which is far more popular than the Cold War-era claim that Americans’ homeland is somehow a “Nation of Immigrants.”
Apple’s most recent hiring report shows how the company’s hiring of Asian visa workers is squeezing out Americans.
Asians filled 35 percent of technical jobs in 2018, up from 23 percent in 2014. That left 17 percent of technical jobs to non-white minorities and just 40 percent of jobs to white tech graduates. In 2014, 54 percent of technical jobs were held by whites, 15 percent by non-white minorities, and eight percent were not identified.
Very few visa workers are hired for lower-wage retail jobs, ensuring that blacks and Latinos hold 36 percent of the slots in 2018. American Asians hold eight percent, and U.S. whites hold 51 percent. In 2014, whites had 59 percent of the jobs and non-white minorities, six percent to Asians, 27 percent went to non-white, non-Asian minorities, six percent to Asians, and eight percent were unidentified.
.@tim_cook With all due respect, if companies like Delta, Disney, HP, Coca-Cola, Ifosys, Cognizant, TCS, etc. hadn’t blatantly abused the process, @realDonaldTrump wouldn’t have had to make the proclamation. Problems have plagued the H1-B program since its inception.
— Dave Hidding (@thinkofdave) June 23, 2020
Why not hire Americans? I’m American and I’m learning to code. Hopefully you will consider me and other Americans someday. There’s no American dream if Americans can’t get jobs. ♀️
— melonfraufrau art & design (@melonfraufrau) June 23, 2020
A website, MyVisaJobs.com, shows Apple’s massive H-1B hiring of Chinese and Indian tech workers:
This corporate hiring of foreign workers has shifted the demographics of California and many other states. For example, 65 percent of Silicon Valley jobs in software, computer, or math are foreign-born, according to the 2020 Silicon Valley Index. This wave of foreign workers is pushing many American graduates aside and is working its way into corporate leadership.
Hire American Tim 😄
— MoMustafa (@MoMustafa86) June 23, 2020
To all the US software and hardware engineers whose jobs were offshored and who have been unemployed or underemployed…looky here.
— Resume@God (@ResumeGod1) June 23, 2020
Apple also hires many H-1B workers via staffing companies as a “Secondary Entity Business Name.”
Commenters praised Trump for overruling his pro-Apple advisers, including one adviser who reportedly urged Trump in April to not curb the inflow of H-1Bs, saying, “Tim Cook won’t like this, Mr. President.”
You’re mad Trump stopped the transfer of wealth away from Americans. The least you could do is level with us.
— The Tatted Adolescent (@YankeeCuis) June 23, 2020
Commenters also noted that Cook promotes the “Black Lives Matter” upsurge but uses the pipelines to hire Asians instead of black Americans:
Tim if you really cared about Black Lives you would setup training centers in low income and minority areas and bring manufacturing from China to those areas. Put your money where your mouth is. Teach Black Americans the skills to make your products and then make them here.
— InTheEndItDoesn’tEvenMatter (@NobodyListens1) June 23, 2020
Big corporations only support the cause when they can ensure they won’t get a backlash. How about make some innovative change for the black community like you do for the iPhones
— Vinci Lee (@Blvck_Davinci) June 23, 2020
Tim it’s time for tech companies to invest in neighborhood kids So many underprivileged youth from all backgrounds are in need of opportunities Teach them skills to gain high paying jobs paving the way for us to help others secure the American Dream #TeachKidsSkills
— Jaws (@JawsMJ) June 23, 2020
Tim, I’m not one to deny the American dream from anyone. But, We’ve spent the last few weeks protesting for equality in underserved communities of color in the US. Is it not possible to invest Apple’s resources to make these workers “highly skilled”? Please help me understand.
— William Judge (@WDJudge) June 23, 2020
The welcome given to Cook mirrors the popular reaction to other CEOs and companies that have announced opposition to Trump’s policy.
American professionals jeer and taunt the tech CEOs who complain Trump’s H-1B reforms will slow their supply of cheap, compliant & disposable foreign white-collar labor.https://t.co/5WWrPNDNwJ
— Neil Munro (@NeilMunroDC) June 23, 2020